Pizza Crust be with you.

During the Passing of the Peace in church this morning, our high school singers turned to each other and, instead of saying “Peace of Christ,” they said “Pizza Crust be with you!”

That’s why I love church– I learn something new every day.

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You are a child of God.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson

 

I first read this quote about 8 years ago when I was in undergrad. The first part summed up exactly what I was feeling at the time– scared not of failing, but of how successful I might be. Failure is safety. It’s a known quantity, it’s predictable, and best of all, it lowers expectations. Success, however, is the opposite of safe and predictable. Nevermind the increased expectations, success opens the possibility for everything to change, in a way that failure just doesn’t. No one says “wow, you’re just so terrible at this, you should go do it for a living!” or, “you’re awful, will you work for me?” or, “come study at our school, you’re the worst we’ve ever seen!”

The second thing I’m noticing about this is: it’s interesting how we can revisit something that we’ve read years earlier, and we see different things in it than we did before, because we’re a different person than we were then. I don’t know that I feel that fear as strongly as I did back then. It’s definitely in a different place than before.

Have you ever felt as Marianne describes?

I’ll Praise My Maker While I’ve Breath

I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

How happy they whose hopes rely
on Israel’s God, who made the sky
and earth and seas with all their train;
whose truth forever stands secure,
who saves the oppressed and feeds the poor,
and none shall find God’s promise vain.

The Lord pours eyesight on the blind;
the Lord supports the fainting mind
and sends the laboring conscience peace.
God helps the stranger in distress,
the widowed and the parentless,
and grants the prisoner sweet release.

I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath;
and when my voice is lost in death,
praise shall employ my nobler powers.
My days of praise shall ne’er be past
while life and thought and being last,
or immortality endures.

(UMH #60)

Written by Isaac Watts in 1719, this hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 146: “Praise ye the LORD… While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.” It was among John Wesley’s favorite hymns. The day before he passed away from consumption, Wesley was very ill in bed, but to the surprise of his companions, he began to sing this hymn with a strong and pure voice. The following day, he tried to sing it again but could not make it past the first line: “I’ll praise my Maker, I’ll praise my Maker…” He died soon afterwards, with this hymn’s music on his lips and its words in his heart.